EnergyX – PR Support

22 Jan 2021
 

Client Vision and Intent

Based in Toronto, ON and Halifax, NS, energyX Solutions licenses their proprietary software to utilities and energy efficiency organizations across North America. Their goal is to help drive efficiency and generate evaluation-grade assessments of building performance and scale in a cost- effective manner. To date, energyX has completed 1M+ audits, generated 250K+ home energy reports, and recommended 3M+ incentives and rebates across 15 utility clients across North America. EnergyX were looking to build on their already excellent success and expand their awareness and reach throughout the United States and Canada.

In order to help energyX achieve this goal, Virtus Groups planned and executed a North America-wide communications campaign. Virtus Groups were able to offer multiple specialists with a range of communications expertise underpinned by an on-demand methodology which provides flexibility and enhanced efficiency.

 

Virtus Groups Development of Plan

To deliver a communications campaign which would garmer energyX the attention they deserve Virtus Groups utilized its partner network and drew upon the expertise of a nationally-renowned PR and marketing expert, Kylie McMullan. Kylie has a strong background in public relations and marketing, stemming from her experience both client side with Johnson & Johnson and Nature’s Path Organic Foods, and in agency, working on accounts such as Celestial Seasonings, Happy Planet Juice, BC Women’s Hospital, and Prospera Credit Union. Kylie is also an Instructor of Public Relations and Influencer Marketing for Simon Fraser University and Consumer Behaviour at Langara, and the co-author of the first Canadian-based public relations textbook, Canadian PR for the Real World.

To initiate the engagement, Virtus Groups began with a deep dive into energyX’s ongoing media activities were analyzed with a view to build upon current successes, where appropriate. Our team then created a competitive media review and researched current related media themes. Further research was conducted via stakeholder interviews. A number of goals were identified at this point. These included:

  • Generate interest/excitement from current/potential investors about energyX Solutions through North American business media coverage.
  • Promote awareness of, and interest in, energyX’s expertise, positive impact on climate change, and products in key regions in order to gain consideration and access to potential opportunities to do business in the future.
  • Support government relations efforts by raising the profile of energyX and its products.
  • Build strong relationships with top-tier media outlets by working with them to support and develop stories that highlight energyX and also meet the needs of the media outlet and audience.
  • Position energyX as a thought leader in the minds of utility/energy efficiency program administrators key opinion leaders and decision makers.

The formulation of these goals by Virtus Groups team and partner led to the identification of a series of core activities designed to achieve the effects above. These activities were sequenced for maximum impact and aligned with energyX’s timeline.

 
 

Virtus Groups Executes the Plan

Building on our initial analysis, Virtus Groups prepared media materials for energyX, such as targeted media lists, media releases, fact sheets, and backgrounders. This incredibly important step set the conditions for a well executed media relations campaign. Once these materials were finalized the activities to achieve energyX’s goals could be carried out.

To increase investor awareness and enthusiasm a cadence of communications with business and technology publications, leveraging the founders’ stories and entrepreneurial journey, was put in train. This comprised of corporate, new product, customer and partner announcements pitched to relevant business and tech media groups. It also involved a business award and recognitions strategy to support the cadence of media communication, with the intent of gaining additional exposure with key publications.

To promote awareness of energyX’s positive impact on climate change and support government relations efforts, region-specific pitches in high-priority areas based on current government’s climate strategies were drafted. Nationally-focused pitches for the US & Canada on national and international climate change policy, energy audits and retrofits were also crafted. It was decided that awareness dates, eg. National Energy Awareness Month, Earth Day, Energy Efficiency Day, would be leveraged when launching these pitches.

To position the company as an industry thought-leader media relations efforts which support continued news flow in industry publications were utilized. This involved media outreach around key tradeshows and conferences. It also comprised of pursuing opinion editorial and spokesperson opportunities which are based on industry trends and hot topics and leverage EnergyX’s created content to create opinion editorials or offer spokespeople to industry publications.

At the beginning of each month of the engagement, Virtus Groups coordinated KPIs with Jesse energyX’s team to align the tactics for the month ahead. The efficacy of these activities were analyzed on an ongoing basis and optimized so that all efforts are oriented around increasing awareness of energyX and reaching their customers where their customers spend most of their time.

 

Results

By engaging with Virtus Groups energyX acquired expert capabilities for all strategy and execution components of their PR campaign, without the cost associated with hiring a senior communications specialist. Instead, they had access to capacity which allowed them to scale campaign activities according to their needs, allowing them to run a dynamic campaign which was responsive to both their business needs and the effects of the campaign. Virtus Groups expertise and efforts have positioned energyX for success in 2021.

Contact us at projects@virtusgroups.com if you’re interested in learning more about our PR support solutions.

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